(23/6/16) The first meeting of the Ph.D. students of the Foundation – on various aspects of the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI - was held yesterday in the new seat of the Foundation and it was presided by its President, Msgr. Giuseppe A. Scotti. The ten students are coordinated by Professor Pierluca Azzaro: there are four women and six men, of whom five are priests and one is a layman. The women come from Italy, Albania, Croatia, and Spain, the men are from India (2), Spain (1), Italy (2) and Vietnam (1). They come from the following universities in Rome: Gregorian, Lateran, Holy Cross, Antonianum, Marianum and Teresianum.
The main topics of the Ph.D. courses vary from Theology of sacred music according to Joseph Ratzinger–Benedict XVI to Mariology in his theological production, or, for example, the concept of Tradition he developed since the Second Vatican Council. Other topics refer to his magisterial production, research or documents dedicated to the meaning and to the importance of the family or the concept of Europe. Among the people who were absent, there was Pavel Bicek, from Czech Republic, because he has just been ordained as a deacon in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Ceske Budejovice. In a beautiful letter sent to the Foundation, Pavel wrote he was grateful for the invitation, he said goodbye and asked all the Ph.D. students and the members of the Foundation to pray for him.
Before the last visit, other people had visited the new seat of the Foundation: the auxiliary bishop of Rio de Janeiro, who was elected as the head of the diocese of São Carlos in Brazil yesterday, Msgr. Paulo Cezar Costa, a delegation from Bydgoszcz, in Poland, made up of the rector of the Kujawy and Pomorze University Helena Czakowska, the president of the same university, Roman Czakowski, the head of Ratzinger Study Centre, father Mariusz Kucinski and the dean of the Cathedral Chapter of the Polish town, fr. Maciej Gutmajer; the reporters Stefano Sabella, Francesco Antonio Grana and Vik Van Brantegem; Mathis Piumatti Sabotero from Cravagliana (Vercelli); Luca and Angela Longo from Catania; Massimo Turchetta and Giovanna Canton from Gruppo Rizzoli; Msgr. Markus Graulich and father Ralph Weimann.